I know what you’re thinking, “there are shipping carriers everywhere, how do I find the right carrier for me?” This blog post will help you navigate through the labyrinth of carriers in search for your perfect shipping partner.
The first step to shipping your products is finding the right carriers. You might be wondering, how can decision-makers at my company find carriers that meet our shipping needs? Here are 7 ways to find the right shipping companies, or carriers, for your shipments.
Here are the definitions of different types of carrier services to meet specific shipment needs according to to P.L. Light.
Entails utilizing a specialized truck service that ships large orders of product, which usually are on skids or pallets. You will need either a loading dock and a hand pallet jack or a fork lift to unload the truck.
FTL (Full Truck Load) A full truck load of product is considered normally 21 to 26 pallets. Transit time is quicker than LTL as the load doesn’t need to be off loaded at other depots before hitting your location. It is usually costlier unless you are shipping high volume on a regular basis.
LTL (Less than a Truck Load) This can be anything from 1 pallet to 20 or even 24 depending on location and price points. Service is a day or two slower as the product stops at more cross dock depots across the country. It is actually the most efficient and cost-effective way to transport shipments regionally or cross country, because you are effectively sharing the cost of the truck’s cargo bay with other clients who have similar destinations and only paying for the space you take up.
Courier services usually deliver smaller shipments, 1 to 15 boxes depending on weight, volume, and location. It is usually a door to door method of delivery that utilizes a professional specialized mailing company. The main advantages to this type of service is that they are extremely fast and efficient. However, the main disadvantages to courier service is cost and size limits (usually meant for packages 150 lbs or less). Most courier services have limits on the size of packages. Also, prices do increase dramatically the larger a particular parcel is.
Express or overnight: This would be the most expensive option but your package will arrive next day guaranteed despite any acts of nature.
2 day: Is just as it sounds, 2-day service, still fast but with a price break.
Ground or standard: This is your cheapest method of courier but the transit time will take much longer— up to 8 or 9 days across North America.
Now that we’ve defined two different types of services available for sending shipments based on your business’ needs, here is a list for finding them.
Finding the Right Carrier:
1. Get online research tools – Make sure you and your team know about carriers’ websites, business directories and online carriers’ directory.
2. Utilize carriers’ databases – Before you conduct your carriers’ analysis, it’s best to utilize carriers’ databases first. This gives you a great idea of carriers that fit your shipping needs. Although there are usually some accuracy problems with carrier databases. According to FreightWaves, “Freight brokers can search the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database, which contains all registered motor carriers (MC) in a number of third-party applications. On the surface this sounds like a fantastic resource. However, the FMCSA database was never designed to be used commercially to source carriers. About one-third of the truckload carrier profiles are inaccurate. Either the telephone numbers are disconnected, the carriers are out of business, are household movers, or are private fleets that are misclassified.”
3. Analyze the carriers – Determine which carriers are worth being researched. You can do this by looking at the size of their fleet, the locations they service, and other customer’s reviews. It’s important to determine what carriers are providing the right services that are suitable for your company.
4. Contact the carriers directly- After determining carriers that are a right fit, contact them directly. Be sure to ask the carriers’ representatives questions that are unique to your shipping needs.
5. Compare carriers- Comparing carriers side-by-side by looking at their reviews and quotes. Determine which carriers will best suit your shipping requirements and preferences.
6. Review past performance – Review carriers’ past performance to determine which carriers best fit your needs. You can find the carrier’s performance information through Logistics companies.
7. Utilize your carriers – Make sure you utilize the carriers that are best suitable for your shipping business. This way, you can ensure that carriers will help you grow your shipping business and meet customer satisfaction through carriers’ outstanding service.
In a hurry?
Finding the right carrier for your shipment needs is a lengthy and time consuming process. However, there are simpler and easier ways to meet your shipping needs through software that gives you quicker turnaround times on shipping quotes, and direct access to carrier ratings.
With this software you don’t need to search for multiple shipping companies. Freight automation software can also save you money, time, and find you the best carriers in the market.
Using a freight automation software allows you to search and compare carriers at once, which saves time and money for your business. Additionally, benefits of using such a system include streamlined systems and finding carriers quickly. The carriers that your business uses ensure cost-efficient shipping.
You no longer need to search through the masses for your right carrier and spend hours researching each one individually. If you’re curious to learn more about how freight automation software is changing the shipping industry read The Best Freight Automation Options of 2022.
Using Software to Save Time and Money
There are many carriers out there but not all of them can match the price and service required by your company. A time-crunch makes finding the right carrier for you even more stressful. However, using available software that takes advantage of freight automation will save your shipment if you’re short on time. Even if time is no issue, saving the work required to manually find your carrier for each shipment can mean salvation to your company and shipping management personnel. One of the most popular software companies connecting shippers to the right carriers is FreightNav.
FreightNav carriers make shipping quotes and find carriers based on their needs which allows customers to save time and money. They also use a pre-qualification system for all carriers to ensure you’re connecting with reputable and trustworthy shipping companies.
Using a freight automation software like FreightNav can save you time, energy and money – and allow your business to grow and succeed.